Poem: He is just Mentally Ill


After decades of confusion
About why he said what he said
And did what he did
It’s clear now
He is just mentally ill

About the poem:
One of my favorite slogans from the 12 steps programs is this: “Know Crazy”

It’s the same idea as this poem. We can spend a lot of energy trying to figure out why would he say that to me? How could he possibly not know that is rude? Why is he so unfeeling?

Questions like this can drive you crazy, until you realize that the person of interest is quite possibly just mentally ill. I say ‘just’ because it’s actually helpful to know that someone is sick, rather than rude, mean, or otherwise terrible.

In this past week a friend suddenly realized that her husband of more than two decades is mentally ill. If you have a relationship that has not improved for decades, there might be an underlying reason. And this might be it.

“Know Crazy” advises us to not try to make sense and understand the logic of a person or situation that is mentally ill. First, we must acknowledge the illness, take steps to stay sane ourselves, then do our best from there.

This photo is taken in front of the Longmont Recreation Center, looking out to Longs Peak. Pretty, huh?


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